Wednesday, July 12, 2017


G-Fest XXIV is being held from Thursday, July 14 through Sunday, July 16, at the lovely Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare hotel, which is right across the street from the Rosemont Convention Center. This event is said to be “the largest regular gathering of Godzilla and Japanese monster fans in the world,” attracting thousands of avid kaiju buffs from the United States, Canada, and distant parts.

This will be my second time at the convention for myself and my son Ed. I’m listed as a “special presenter.” Now you might quibble with the “special” part of that, but I’ll be presenting like a monster. More on that in a bit.

From the G-Fest website:

G-Fest is a family-oriented convention which caters to a wide variety of interests within the kaiju genre. G-FEST features presentations and Q & A sessions by actors and crew from the Japanese Godzilla films, fan presentations on topics of interest, contests and gaming, new and classic kaiju movies, the western world’s largest kaiju-oriented dealers room, and lots of fun and camaraderie.

This year’s special guests include composer Michiru Oshima; veteran designer/illustrator Yuji Kaida; director/special effects director Shinji Higuch, who recently worked on Shin Godzilla; actor and suit actor/stuntman Ryuki Kitaoka; assistant film director and writer Kazuhiro Nakagawa; Robert Scott Field, the star of Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah and a personable expert in things Japan; and J.D. Lees, the force of nature behind the great G-Fan Magazine, G-Fest itself, and the G-Tour, which brings Godzilla fans to Japan to see the world of the King of the Monsters. You can learn more about the guests by going here.

G-Fest has a three-tier schedule of panels and events, spread out over the Kennedy Room and two large ballrooms. One of my favorite events is the G-Pardy game show, presented in both adult and kids editions. Besides the interviews with the special guests, you will be able to attend panels on such topics as Kong: Skull Island, The Mysterians, Son of Godzilla, Mothra, Gappa, Hollywood Kaiju, kaiju writing, yokai, Gamera, Ultra Seven and more. On Saturday at noon, Godzilla artist Matt Frank will be discussing drawing and offering some basic instruction and tips therein.

I’m doing three panels during the convention...

Friday, July 14

MARVEL MONSTERS (3-4 pm, Ballroom 2)

Before the Avengers and Spider-Man, Marvel Comics published giant monster comics. A lot of them! And many of those monsters, like Fin Fang Foom and Groot, have become a part of the modern Marvel Universe. Come hear a lively discussion of these wacky but loveable creatures from writer Tony Isabella (Black Lightning, Ghost Rider, and more) and artist Mark Maddox. With Tony Isabella, Mark Maddox, and Andy Matzke.

Saturday, July 15

GORGO, KONGA AND REPTILICUS (3-4 pm, Ballroom 1)

Gorgo. Konga. Reptilicus. These were far more than just standalone films! A panel discussing the movies, the novel adaptations and the comic books. With Tony Isabella and Mark Maddox.

Sunday, July 16

SYFY MONSTERS (1-2 pm, Ballroom 2)

Culture critic Tony Isabella takes a look at some of the high entertainment but low budget creations that have screened on Syfy.

For all the panels, besides the hopefully amusing and informative commentary by the participants, we’ll also have a monster parade of comics covers, movie stills and more. I also expect will have some lively interactions with the audiences.

From my G-Fest experience last year, your biggest problem will not be finding interesting panels and other stuff. It will be deciding which of the many wondrous attractions you want to see most. The dealers room and the artist alley are packed with terrific stuff to buy. There are exhibits throughout the hotel. When you want to kick back and relax, the hotel has devoted one of its TV channels to a continuous showing of kaiju movies and TV shows.

Feeling competitive? G-Fest offers an amateur video contest, an art contest, a costume contest, a model contest, a music video contest and a video game competition. In addition to the G-Pardy game show panels I mentioned earlier.

Want to see swell movies on a big beautiful screen? The G-Fest double double feature film festival returns this year to the gorgeous Pickwick Theatre with one pair in the afternoon and the second pair in the evening. There will also be the regular Friday and Saturday night features. For more information, go here.

I will not be set up in either artist alley or the dealers room at G-Fest. This is my fan fist convention. However, I will be carrying around copies of July 1963: A Pivotal Month in the Comic-Book Life of Tony Isabella with me. A copy will run you $18.

If you want to get me to sign something, you will need to track me down. I’m not scheduled to do any signings. However, as long as you can find me where my signing your books or comics won’t impede the stuff happening around us, I’ll be happy to sign stuff for you. I will not be charging for signatures at G-Fest.

That’s my G-Fest XXIV preview. I look forward to expressing my love for Godzilla and other giant monsters over the weekend and, to be sure, spending time with my fellow kaiju fans.

I’ll be back tomorrow with another installment of my fast-shooting, hard-riding “Rawhide Kid Wednesday” series. See you then.

© 2017 Tony Isabella

1 comment:

  1. My wife and I are looking forward to our first G-Fest this year. I've been wanting to go for some time, but the stars have not aligned properly until now. Looking forward to seeing you again, Tony!